By Rich Gonzalez
(MAY 24, 2012) -- Hopefully it's not really "Goodbye", but rather just "See you later."
Robert Evans, one half of the sibling coaching duo that spearheaded Golden Valley's sudden rise to distance-running prominence, informed us that the brothers will not return to coaching at the Santa Clarita-based high school for the 2012 cross-country season.
Chris Evans might pursue coaching on more of a full-time/permanent basis, according to Robert, who said he too has decided to make a lifestyle change, opting to devote more time to his wife and one-year-old daughter.
"This was really a hard decision on our part, but we are at peace with it," shared Robert by email, who left the door open to a possible return to coaching later on in life.
"Our dad did the same when we were little ...," Robert added, "and then came back to coaching when he was older."
Mark Evans coached his two sons at Crescenta Valley High -- Chris graduating in 1997 and Robert two years later -- while building a respected program with distance runners who excelled in both their prep running days and beyond.
The brothers later attended UC Irvine and began coaching at Golden Valley High when it first opened its doors in the fall of 2007.
Since then, ample success has been achieved by the cross-country program, including state meet boys team appearances in 2008 (11th in Division III), 2009 (third in Division III), 2010 (seventh in Division III) and 2011 (Division II state champions).
The program is truly at its apex, fresh off a dramatic 10th-place finish at the Nike Cross Nationals championship meet in Portland, Ore., last December.
Under the Evans Brothers, the team and its runners quickly built a reputation for constructing teams comprised of excellent frontrunners and solid depth. This school year's state title squad featured four boys set to run in college -- two at UC Berkeley and two at UC Riverside. The girls program has also enjoyed a clear upswing.
When we learned of their decision to step away from coaching, we kiddingly informed them that Loyola cross-country coach Lalo Diaz, whose team placed second to Golden Valley at state, will likely sleep better at night these days, knowing the accomplished coaching siblings will no longer reside within the division.
To which Robert quickly replied, "I will sleep a lot better now, knowing Lalo's not out there trying to run us down!"
It's such humor, class, and self-effacing nature which have always been trademarks of the Evans coaching fraternity. We hope to see it again sometime down the road. It's worth the wait.
Golden Valley High is opening up the application process to interested candidates. More informmation can be accessed at: http://www.hart.k12.ca.us/index.php/employment/35-certificated/906-head-cross-country-coach